The Man Plan

After withdrawing these last twelve months to process residual trauma, navigate yet more loss in our family, and focus on helping my children work towards emotional stability, I have begun to reengage socially, dating. More settled I feel ready to jump back in and explore new possibilities.

I was the surprised and flattered recipient of holiday greetings from a few former dating partners; all who have moved on to find special someone, but who took the time to wish me Merry Christmas. To be remembered brought with it some awareness that I am thought of fondly yet life goes on, they’ve gone on, while I have remained somewhat stalled if not stationary.

Perhaps the holidays punctuate desires to share that time with someone else, or maybe it is seeing another year come to a close without having found someone special, I don’t know, but there has been a notable uptick of interactions on my online dating site profile as the days have grown shorter and colder.

I awake this frosty morning, the sun still hesitating below the horizon, perched and reigning high in my spacious four poster king bed. If it is named for royalty and requires steps to get into it, then I feel like a queen swathed in fine linens and fluffed in the down of a comforter. It seems perfectly natural to extend a smile of good morning to a snuggled in warm companion as we watch the birds at the feeder; the feathers of crystalized ice on the window pane filtering our view encourages us to abandon looking out and turn to each other to leisurely meander and share any manner of unimportant thoughts. Oh, that is a run on sentence but who wants to end anything that perfect begun so early in the day?

Once fully awake my king proveth an aberration in the sleepy haze of an early morning. As the first light softly illuminates my room, it is evident the other side of my bed is only littered with books, five to be exact, plus Sur Le Table and Orvis catalogs, and my laptop. Careful not to disturb three sleeping cats, I leave its cozy warmth to patter down a cold hall and fix myself coffee whilst pondering if I am destined to be a reclusive crazy cat lady. Returned to the warmth, duly motivated, I push the books aside to unbury my laptop, convincing myself to venture into the wild frontier of prospecting for partners online, perusing potential candidates like turning the pages in the Sears Christmas Wish Book.

Our airs of being highly evolved fly out the door in the face of the basic instinct to find a mate. At my age we certainly have done our part in perpetuating the human race, yet it continues to drive us, which I find curious. I am comfortable in my life, content with having things my way, happy with the non-complication of being single, and (shhhhh) cherish my alone time. Yet not only are we willing to yield, to share, to move between giving and receiving, to embrace and adore another’s imperfections, we are driven by an urge that overrides our intellect. I revel in how we are created to connect and be with one another.

Spending the better part of my adult life in an enormously emotionally unbalanced relationship, I come with considerable work having been done on my part. With my ‘Man Plan’ in hand, a design of not how, but who he will be, I dive headlong into the awkward and seemingly artificial pursuit of searching a website for a suitable companion with whom to share my life and myself. Surely it is ego driving that; to think we have so much to offer we cannot keep us to ourselves!

It is sobering to appreciate all that I am includes some rather challenging and painful areas that, while healed on the surface, will remain. I am going to have difficult days when memories push to the surface, triggered by both invisible and known stimuli; days when I am raw and vulnerable and needy. It will be a unique man who is confident enough to step up, undaunted, and accept this presence as something that in part contributes to who I am today; who will see past it and be all in to create an ‘us’ that circumvents the past.

In a far different place than I could have ever imagined when I was in an unhappy, unhealthy relationship, I did not exchange that loneliness for being alone as I once imagined. I exchanged it for the pleasure of the good company I have enjoyed, for a lot of laughs and lessons in living fully. A primary companion may still be elusive yet I can embrace the infinite possibilities while meeting new people and making new friends.

In the final scene my last words to my husband as he hounded me to know how I intended to live once I left him were “I don’t know but I am faithful”. Neither in this do I know…who my ‘he’ is, or how or when I will meet him…but I am faithful. Faithful I make a good life partner, faithful I am prepared for the emotional investment a relationship requires, faithful in God’s plans for me and His timing.

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